Banned Books Week

In honor of Banned Books Week, here is a quiz. Be warned, the questions aren’t for the casual reader, but it covers some interesting book trivia. I scored a 7 out of 13 which I thought was decent considering I guessed on several. But along with my score came a snarky analysis that suggested I may be near-illiterate and probably am a fan of Sarah Palin. Ouch.

High-Five Friday

1. Well, I’ll be! There’s someone checking in on this blog. (I’m guessing. . . Mom?) So a high five to anonymous for the push on the tush to stop neglecting this space.

2. I just saw a sneak peak of my friend Rachel’s second picture book Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi, (out next spring I believe). Beautiful! Beautiful, beautiful. I am so excited for her. It is going to be another gorgeous book. Her first book Through Georgia’s Eyes is a real gem. It’s the story of the life of Georgia O’Keeffe. Rachel has a knack for telling these artists’ stories in a simple and poetic fashion. It’s the type of writing that looks deceptively easy, but it takes a lot of work to write in a way that reads that effortlessly. The illustrations in both books are fantastic, done by Julie Paschkis. I can’t wait to buy an actual copy of this Gaudi book once it’s out.

3. A round of high fives to the Kite Tales staff and all the contributing writers and illustrators for this latest issue, now available online. This issue has a fall conference theme for the upcoming Rocky Mountain chapter of SCBWI’s Letters & Lines conference, which will be going on next weekend. But I think a lot, if not all, of the articles and info would be of interest to people not attending the conference as well. There is a profile on volunteer extraordinaire Carrie Seidel, a blog spotlight on Cheryl Reifsnyder, a QA with writer and illustrator Danlyn Iantorno, member’s tips on getting the most out of attending conferences, a round-up article on the NY-SCBWI conference. . . a lot of good stuff. Beautifully designed by Joyce Turley and illustrations by Karen Windness.

4. I’m giving a high five to homegrown, fresh fruit and vegetables. They really do taste so much better when they come straight out of your yard. We have boysenberries growing along our back fence and for the last couple of weeks we’ve been picking big bowlfuls. They are delicious. Some tangy, some sweet. My husband and I have talked about using some to make maybe a boysenberry pie or jam, but as we’re discussing our grand plans we eat through the whole bowl. They are just SO good. Our veggie garden is overrun with tomatillos and about 5 different types of chiles. My husband has made some delicious salsa verde and green chile sauce, and we’ve discovered some great new recipes that use them both. (Green chile enchiladas and a steak with cream chile sauce being the top two favorites, I think.) We don’t have as much luck with our pears, apples, and plums though. The trees definitely bear a lot of fruit, but birds or bugs or our dogs get to them before we do, or they don’t ripen enough. But that’s okay. I’m more than happy with the boysenberries, tomatillos, and chiles.

5. My last high five for the week is for the people who put this video together. Have you seen this? It’s The Office meets Broadway meets Election 2008. Impressive to have pulled something like this together. Hope you enjoy:

A recent headline on my Yahoo! homepage:

Poll: Nearly Half Hearing Too Much About Obama.

Yes, and they’re called Republicans.

and we’re back

Well, it looks like I took a brief hiatus there. That wasn’t planned. I had a short streak of regular posting and then, hey look it’s August already. I don’t think they gave out awards for regular attendance when I was a kid in school like they do now, and if they did I doubt I was a recipient. And so it shouldn’t be a surprise now that I’m an unlikely candidate for any regular blogging awards, if such a thing exists. It’s always good to have something to aspire to though. If there is an organization out there for underachievers, that should be their slogan.

The Underachievers: We Have More To Aspire To Than The Rest

Or:

The Underachievers: We Could Do More, But Then What?

Or:

The Underachievers: Where You Can Feel Good About Doing Less

There’s been more keeping me busy these past couple of months than inventing slogans for imaginary support groups though. Just this past week I flew (on a plane) 4 times in 11 days. I’m sure salespeople and flight attendants yawn at those numbers, but it was a bit excessive for me. There was also a week spent with family in Coronado early on in the summer, and another trip to Montana in late June. A visit from my mother and another visit from my in-laws. Planning a shower and a bachelorette party for a dear friend, compiling and editing the next issue of Kite Tales, working on the seemingly endless revisions of my novel. Not to mention the actual paying work and normal day-to-day things that pop up (or break down, as the case may be). And I’ve discovered that marriage is really much more enjoyable when you spend time with your spouse, and that pets respond amazingly well to being fed and taken care of. Who knew?

The bright side of not updating your blog for a couple months is that you accumulate a lot of stories that are potentially interesting for sharing. I’ll do my best to recount some of those, starting with my recent adventure at the SCBWI-LA conference. Recap to commence this week.